Becoming an electrical contractor involves extensive training but is a worthy vocation to pursue. For most jobs you want to acquire, a basic set of procedures and training is usually involved and entering the industrial electrical contractors’ trade is no exception. Of course, training and becoming licenced will vary depending on the area you reside; there are certain steps that will need to be taken to enter into the electrical contractor profession.
Find out where you can begin to start to enter the trade of an electrical contractor and what the full process actually entails.
1. Complete Vocational Training Or An Apprenticeship
According to the government of Canada website that documents imperative trade roles within the country, electrical contractors and the general trade involve professionals who specialize in designing, installing, and maintaining electrical systems. Basic labour statistics also report that job opportunities for electricians are expected to increase by about 13% between 2014 and 2024.
To become an electrical contractor, you can complete vocational training or an apprenticeship program where you can receive an official certificate or experience that enables you to become licenced. Some locations require licensing or proof of certification before you can practice. Other areas offer voluntary certifications that may help you find employment with larger companies or local governments.
Vocational Training Programs
Vocational training programs provide students with a hands-on education in the field of electrical contracting. These programs often consist of classroom instruction and on-the-job training so that students get experience installing and maintaining electrical systems. Some vocational schools offer associate’s degrees in applied science, while others may only provide certificates or diplomas. In most cases, these programs do not require previous experience in electrical work, but they do require some math skills such as algebra and trigonometry.
Apprenticeships are another way to become an electrician. Apprenticeship programs typically last four years but can be shorter depending on your ability to learn quickly. In some cases, apprenticeship programs will allow you to earn college credit while you train under an experienced electrician.
2. Complete A High School Diploma
There are a few different paths to becoming an electrical contractor. The most common is completing a high school diploma and obtaining a license from the area where you wish to work. However, some locations require you to receive an associate’s or bachelor’s degree before taking the exam.
Many technical schools offer programs for those who wish to learn about electricity and electrical equipment and become an apprentice with an electrical contracting firm. This can be a good option for those without a college degree or who want to learn more about their chosen field before committing themselves financially.
Once you’ve decided how you want to become an electrical contractor, you’ll have to prepare to hunker down and study. You’ll need at least two years of experience before taking the exam, but many people take extra classes or get certifications before even starting their first job as an apprentice.
3. Successfully Work As An Electrician’s Helper
You must assist the electrician with their work and act officially as their helper. You should be able to follow instructions and perform your supervisor’s tasks. You must also have good knowledge of electrical equipment such as generators, transformers, and other equipment used in the industry.
You can start as an apprentice electrician helper and become an assistant electrician. When you become more experienced, you can take up responsibilities like installing lighting fixtures and other minor electrical duties. You will also learn how to repair wiring problems and install outlets, switches, and other electrical components, to become fully qualified and equipped to do a large set of tasks.
4. Pass A Certification Or Licensing Exam
Electrical contractors must be licensed or certified to get started in the profession. In some places, this means passing a licensing exam or means passing a certification exam. Both types of exams are administered by different agencies that oversee electrical work.
The licensing or certification process varies from city to city, so if you’re planning on becoming an electrical contractor, check with your local building department to see what you need to do to obtain your license or certification.
To pass the exam, you’ll need to study for it just like you would for any other test. You can find a lot of study materials online and at bookstores specializing in electrical contractor exam prep materials. It’s also a good idea to take an introductory course on electricity at a vocational school or community college before taking the test, which will help you understand what the questions are asking and how they expect you to answer them correctly.
5. Find Work As A Contractor
Finding Work as a subcontractor is the other step in becoming an industrial electrical contractor. This involves getting hired by a general contractor to do electrical work on one of his projects. It would help if you found good referrals for this step because it’s how you will build up your reputation as a reliable contractor.
If you have trouble finding reliable referrals, look for local contractors hiring and ask them who they recommend you contact for work. They may even give you some leads if they like what they see from you during the interview process.
Once you get hired by a general contractor or residential building company, follow all safety precautions when working on your project. This includes everything from wearing protective gear around high-voltage power lines to ensuring that your tools are properly stored away when not in use. While these seem like minor details, you must take them seriously since they could result in severe injury or death if not followed correctly.
As you can see, becoming an industrial electrical contractor requires preparation and prior knowledge of the electrical trade. It would be best if you also had an excellent financial investment to buy the tools and products, house your equipment and have an office space. It is also essential to be self-motivated, with the ability to work alone in isolation for long periods without distraction.